Yesterday we spent about five hours at Old Tucson Studios. This was another attraction that was in the Tucson coupon book we purchased. Admission was $16.95 and we got one free with the coupon book. It was an okay place to visit at half price. I don’t think it was worth full price.
Old Tucson Studios has been in existence since 1939. The original buildings were built for a movie called Arizona. Since then there have been over 500 productions filmed there including over 300 movies. Some of the more famous films include 3:10 to Yuma, Young Riders, Gunfight at OK Corral and Tombstone. John Wayne filmed four of his movies at the site. Here’s the main road.
Lots of TV shows were also filmed here including Little House on the Prairie, Gunsmoke, and The High Chaparral.
One of the more recent movies was The Three Amigos with Martin Short, Steve Martin and Chevy Chase. The film ended up costing three times more than budgeted because those guys kept screwing around. Imagine that :) Here’s the mission seen in that movie as well as many others. The mountain in the background is called Golden Gate Peak, and is the signature scenery for the studio, seen in every movie filmed here.
There was an area that was being set up for a shoot next week. It was a secret, but they did tell us it was for a well known cooking show and the studio would be closed to the public for a week to film the show. There were three very large expensive looking grills in the road.
There were some informational presentations and shows throughout the day. We watched a couple of the shows including a can-can dance show, a gunfight, and a show in honor of Arizona’s 100th anniversary as a state.
The shows were not the best, pretty low budget stuff. But, we had a good time and learned a little about the business of making westerns.
They had a train and a stagecoach you could ride on. There was also a carousel and some old fashioned cars for kids.
Today is our last day in Tucson. We went for a nice long walk in the desert this morning. I will miss the nice hiking trails right behind the park. I won’t miss the noise from the Tucson Skeet and Gun Club a couple of miles away. Every day you can hear the pop, pop, pop of guns being fired. The noise really takes away from the beauty and peacefulness of hiking in the desert.
I don’t know that we’d come back here. We enjoyed our stay, but there are so many other places to see. The RV park was adequate, but somewhat old and tired, and the sites are quite tight. Our plan for next year is to spend the winter months in Texas.
Tomorrow we’ll be on the road to Buckeye, which is west of Phoenix. We’re looking forward to enjoying some Spring Training baseball games.
I’m just watching the news, and they’re showing more damage from today’s tornadoes in the Midwest. It’s the same weather front that came through here on Monday and brought very strong winds. I’ll take the wind over the tornadoes any day. My heart goes out to all those people!
Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!
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